Our recent visit to the Supernatural* set consisted of a morning interview with Jensen Ackles (read it here) and some night interviews with stars Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins, who, like Jensen, teased what’s in store for their characters.
Jared took the time to explain Sam’s state of mind at the beginning of the season to us. While Dean has been fighting his way through Purgatory, we know that Sam has gotten out of the hunting game entirely and found himself a girlfriend named Amelia. What’s their relationship like? “Pretty steamy. We read 50 Shades of Grey to each other,” Jared joked. “I’m just teasing. I haven’t even read it. But I do know the reference. We see Sam and Amelia kind of built this relationship. They’re both misfits, they’ve both gone through loss. They’re both…not outcasts so much, but they’ve been brought together by a bizarre set of extenuating circumstances and they find each other’s arms and each other’s minds and say ‘you know, this is good, what we’ve got, why [look] a gift horse in the mouth? Let’s go with it’. We see glimpses of it. At first, maybe I’ve become a fangirl of the show and I was kind of like “A GIRL? FOR SAM? WHAT’S HE DOING?!”. But as I learned about the relationship I was so happy to explore that role and that character. And Sam, from the get, has been hoping to reinvent himself as the person that he always thought he was, which is kind of backward speak, but he was the one in the pilot who wanted to stay in college. He’s always kind of fought for the normal life and always kind of fought for the ‘relationship’.”
Sam and Amelia’s relationship will, however, play out in the past when the Winchester brothers are reunited in the season premiere, so don’t expect Sam to be ducking out of a hunt to be going to visit Amelia: “The relationship between Sam and Amelia, which I really enjoy, is done in retrospect. It’s done mostly in flashbacks. We will get into a real time relationship, but I’ve kind of been, not petitioning in a literal sense of the word, but vocal about ‘guys, I love when shows will go back and show what’s happened’ and I’ve loved when Supernatural’s done it, like “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and episodes that have gone back in time and told a cool story that you can’t tell him the present tense as well as you can tell in reflection. And we see what Dean did in flashbacks. They’re very opposite sides of the coin where one is happy and content and living a ‘Supernatural Winchester normal life’ and the other is in Purgatory fighting for his life.”
We know, of course, that Sam does jump back into the hunting life with Dean, but is he reluctant to do so? Jared said that Sam’s going to do it, even if he isn’t particularly happy about returning to his former life: “I think Sam in this season is different from Sam in other seasons where Dean was in Hell, or Sam was in Hell. Usually when they’ve been split up there’s been sort of the impetus of ‘my brother’s in trouble, I’ve got to save him, [or] he’s got to save me’. But here Sam’s like ‘I was in a room, Roman vanished, Castiel vanished, Kevin Tran is gone. I have no Bobby, I have no Misha, I have nothing. I’m going to take off the hunter garb and just live a normal life because I have nothing tying me back. There’s absolutely nothing holding him back from a normal life. So when it all comes crashing back down it’s like a brutal reminder, yet again, of who he has been and possibly mean to be. He isn’t so happy about it. He’s been living a [pretty good life so far].”
Before some fans of Dean and the brothers’ relationship pick up your pitchforks, know that Jared isn’t trying to say that Sam doesn’t love Dean because he doesn’t want to hunt. As a fan of Supernatural myself, I can understand that interpretation, but I think that Sam can still love his brother and not want to be part of the life of hunting, particularly given what that kind of life has stolen from the both of them. Jared went on to address Sam’s reaction to his brother when they see each other again in the pilot: “I think Sam, in a weird way, I think Sam ’s kind of the adult in this reconciliation. He’s like, ‘look, I found my own thing. You’re my brother and I love ya, and I’m so happy you’re back and I’m gonna help you now, but I want out’. Sam is kind of in a place where he wants to move on to something different. And not to any discredit of Dean and not that it belittles their relationship or his feelings for his brother or his past with his brother. But I think Dean resents Sam more because, like I touched on earlier, Sam was living a good, kosher life down in Kermit, Texas with a girl that he fell in love with and a dog and Dean was fighting for his life. So Sam is saying ‘let bygones be bygones, I’ll help you out, but when this is done I’m out. For real. I’ve experienced life without hunting at all’….even when he was in college he had that living over his head. This is the first time we’ve seen Sam actually having no anchor holding him back to the hunting life. So when he experiences that he wants to move on. So when they reconcile, or reconvene is probably a more accurate word, Dean is going ‘Dude, I never stopped. I know I vanished, but I kept hunting and I kept trying to find you and help you. What did you do?’ Sam [thinks he did the] ‘only thing I could do. I didn’t have anybody to call, I just tried to live a life.’ There’s no hard feelings on Sam’s part but it’s a bone of contention for Dean.”
Does this mean that Sam isn’t committed to the season-long goal of finding a new God tablet to close the Gates of Hell (which we learned about in the preview for the season)? Of course not. Sam is 100% committed to that. “He’s going to try to help out [Dean] with the task at hand and hopefully then do his own thing again. He’s not going to leave him hanging, he’s going to go ‘I do owe you this and you’ve done a lot more for me than anybody else has, and vice versa, but you’ve earned this, so I’ll help. We both believe we’re on to something that will end our hunting careers forever’ So Sam’s like ‘you know what? Perfect. Because I know what it’s like to not have an anchor into the hunting aspect of life, so I would love to not have a need for that hunting aspect of life. And if this can solve that, then I’m in’.”
As for Misha Collins, there’s only teasers to be had right now, at least until we see more about Castiel. He did, however, give us a glimpse into Castiel’s state in Purgatory: “I think Cas’ experience in Purgatory is shaped by everything that’s come before.” Misha alluded to the fact that Purgatory is, in a sense, a place for Castiel to atone for the sins he committed in seasons 6 and 7. “It’s a tough place for Cas. I think that he kind of feels like he deserves that.” Don’t fret, Castiel fans, there’s much more to come with Misha! Of the first eight episodes of the season, he’s in four of them, and episodes 7 and 8 are ones that Castiel fans won’t want to miss!
The season 8 premiere of Supernatural will air on Wednesday, October 3 at 9:00 p.m. on The CW. Keep an eye on our Supernatural page for more season 8 details.
While at the studio, we went on a tour of the Supernatural wardrobe department and productions offices. Use the arrows above to view some cool photos from behind the scenes at the studio. A video of Jared’s interview will be posted soon.
*Travel and accommodation provided by Warner Bros. Television